I've got an 05 Pathfinder LE 4x4 with a towing capacity of 6000 lbs (with towing package). I'm purchasing a 22 foot TT that is 4700 lbs. I have a family of 3 and we are very light packers. I am hoping that my Pathfinder will be sufficient for towing it? We are not planning on driving very long distances to camp, mainly just around our area (probably no more than 75 miles away from home). Also, we are full-hook ups kind of people, so I won't be pulling it with full holding tanks. I'm hoping that the Pathfinder will be sufficient...any thoughts/experiences?
Here is a report I just wrote for someone in another thread that is applicable to you as well. I suspect the Pathfinder isn't quite as capable as its pickup truck counterpart.
Be sure to pay attention to the differences between "dry weight" as listed in a brochure and what the actual weight of a fully loaded trailer is. My guess is you will exceed the maximum tongue weight before you will exceed the GCWR.
I tow with a 2011 Nissan Frontier, which has the same hitch and tow weight ratings as your truck, but has a more powerful engine. I tow a 2012 Flagstaff model 21FBRS, with an overall length of 21 feet. The dry weight is listed at 3637 pounds but my fully loaded and provisioned trailer tops out at a little over 4400 pounds. The tongue weight is listed at 377 pounds but my actual tongue weight is a little less than 600 pounds. I use a correctly adjusted weight distributing hitch and simple friction anti-sway bars. Here are my observations:
1) The TV-TT combination is stable under tow, even when passing or being passed by large trucks at Interstate speeds. You can feel a little sway occasionally, but it never feels unstable or out of control.
2) I have climbed as steep a grade as I would ever want to try again and it did well enough, although it was slow.
3) The combination will maintain the speed limit on fairly level highways but drops back to third gear frequently on inclines. (I disable 5th gear with the button on the shifter.
4) In order to maintain good performance on long slopes, I had to get used to running the engine at 3500 rpms or so, which is its peak power band. The engine may sound like it is straining to you if you aren't used to it but it is fine and is designed to operate that way if needed.
5) I am confident the truck could safely tow up to its 6500 pound limit but I don't plan to do it. I am unwilling to put up with slow acceleration and uphill speeds. Whether you are willing to put up with it or not is up to you.
I towed a jayco 19bh with the same setup and it did fine. I made several 2-300 mile trips and was amazed it did that well. That being said, I believe that was its limit though. I eventually traded for a 3/4 ton truck, but the Pathy is a tough truck. You'll be fine.
West Central Alabama 2012 Jayco JayFlight 26RKS w/ side bunks
2006 GMC Ext Cab 2500HD 4X4/6.0/4.10 RTR!
Check your payload and hitch weights carefully. I used to haul w/ an armada (big brother to pathfinder). It was rated to tow 9100 lbs and had a rated hitch weight if 910 lbs. We bought a 7700 lb gvw (approx 6700 lb loaded) TT. Couldn't figure out why we were having handling problems, come to find out we were not only over on hitch weight but we were way over on payload. It seems the armada only had 800 lbs if payload, yours may well be less.
Distance hauling doesn't matter as much as terrain. Are you hauling mostly flat or will there be some good hills to tow? Hills become important in trying to get the TT up the mountain w/o overheating or down the mountain/steep long hill w/o getting pushed too much. Some will argue about the getting pushed/stopping factor but if you are over matched it can get scary. How do I know? Because I drove w/ these kind of experiences. As a result we upgraded our tow vehicle within a year. We stay within a six hour radius and usually within a 2 hour radius for our towing. Point is an over matched rig is dangerous on a highway w/ a semi passing, if a decent (not necessarily strong) wind is out and also on hills. If you stay within your tv stated ratings for tongue weight, payload (including family and gear) and overall towing capability then you will be ok. Outside those ratings you endanger your family and others on the road. As stated above, don't shop by UVW it is useless. Shopping by GVWR is more helpful. You can figure on 13-15% of weight for a tongue weight. Using 15% of gvwr should give you a worse case scenario. Good luck and happy hunting.
Depending on tongue weight, you may find that you need airlifts on the rear springs -- some Pathfinders suffer from semi-soft rear springs. Coincidentally, I just posted this yesterday on the DIY forum -- hope it is helpful!
It appears you should be within your limits. As far as the trailer "pushing" you around, use your gears manually when necessary on descents of mountains/hills it goes a long way to keeping control. Many think an auto tranny will shift itself when necessary, while that may be true. While driving when towing, it becomes necessary to manually shift sometimes, especially when descending. The tranny WILL NOT down shift when descending a hill, you then have to rely on brakes exclusively and that can be scary. Shifting down a gear or two or three if nescessary keeps the speed under control with an occasional slowing with the brake.
Your Pathi should do fine if driven properly.
Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know much, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.